If there is to be football next year, Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin not only wants to be a bigger part of the offense, he wants to be able to have the opportunity to speak his mind and offer his suggestions to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on how best to get the Baltimore offense going.
Boldin joined “The Afternoon Drive” last week to not only plug his upcoming “Chalk Talk” session with the fans at Morgan State on March 10th, but to also shed some light on the improvements he hopes comes from the coaching staff and the acquisitions made by the team in the draft and free agency(once it occurs) to bolster his new team’s offense.
“If I knew there was a player available that can really help us out, I might talk to Ozzie or something like that,” Boldin said.
A lot of the criticism in the off-season came at the expense of several of the offensive coaches, mostly notably guys like John Matsko and Jim Zorn, who both were given their walking papers by the team.
But most under fire was offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who as a friend of coach John Harbaugh may have had his job saved for another year.
Boldin however-who had career lows in catches(64) and yards (837) while playing a full 16-game season-unexpectedly gave Cameron all the confidence in the world going forward into next season.
But, that didn’t mean he wasn’t frustrated about being under-utilized compared to his previous seven seasons in Arizona where he averaged 83 receptions a year.
In short, he wants the ball more. He wants to be a useful tool for the Ravens to rely on down the stretch.
“I think every player wants to be productive,” Boldin said. “Every player wants to contribute as much as possible. If I can get the ball more than 10 to 15 times a game, I’ll be more than happy.”
Boldin said it was very frustrating coming from a pass-friendly offense where even as a secondary option to Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona he still was getting #1 receiver numbers.
“At times it would get frustrating because I came from a place where I was used to getting the ball and at least getting thrown to 8-10 times a game, and then you go and get one to two passes a game, it can get frustrating,” Boldin admitted.
But the 30-year old out of Florida State did want to emphasize the fact that as long as he is used on a consistent basis somewhat close to his standards…he has no problem being a secondary option still as long as the team is winning.
He hopes that belief is unanimous amongst his teammates.
“For me, if we’re winning I’m okay,” Boldin said. “I would never let that get in the way of the team.”
When it came to his frustration this year with his lack of productivity or when asked about his trust in the coaching staff, Boldin used the example of playing for an NCAA school the same as applying it to the pro game.
You don’t have the ability to choose and impact who your coaches are, but you do hope they put you in the best position to succeed on the field.
“With us, you don’t make decisions in college of who’s going to be your coach and who’s not,” Boldin said. “I think the thing is we need to get in and whoever our coach is, we try to develop a working relationship with where the team comes first and all egos are put aside.”
Boldin said he and Cam Cameron may have had some issues with the likes of each other during the season, but from what off-season the team has had has been focusing on-putting together a combination of good plays from Boldin and a well-drawn up game-plan from Cam Cameron-has him already feeling better about next year.
“With Cam Cameron, me and him have a pretty good understanding of what we’re trying to get done. As soon as the season was over, I was in there with the coaches and we went over different things with the offense…ways we could get better…different features with the offense that could have been used better…all that stuff.”
Ultimately, Boldin left Owings Mills with an even higher respect for what Cameron had in the works for next season and his approach toward trying to fix the mistakes of 2010.
“I respect the fact that they allowed the players to have an input, because you know, my desire is to win. I respect him for having that same desire.”
WNST thanks Anquan Boldin for joining the Afternoon Drive! Be sure to check out his Chalk Talk at Morgan State this Thursday!